All About Broyles

fringe_ink_aithEpisode Commentary: Earthling

After a two-week hiatus due to the MLB playoffs, “Fringe” returns with “Earthling,” a creepy and entertaining episode that gives us insight to one of the secondary characters in the series.

While “Earthling” deals with a literal shadow figure that turns humans into ash, the connection this case has with Agent Phillip Broyles’ past is what makes as entertaining as it is. While the revelations aren’t mind-blowing and are, in fact, fairly obvious, it’s just nice to see Lance Reddick, who plays Broyles, get the screen time he deserves in a worthwhile tale.

Anybody who has seen Reddick in “The Wire” as Cedric Daniels knows what kind of presence he brings whenever he is onscreen. His deep voice, tall stature and menacing stare make him perfect for any role where he’s the one in command, making the tough decisions, but he is still a good enough actor to pull off some of the lighter or even subdued scenes.

This week’s episode starts off with a man in his home, preparing a surprise for his and his wife’s anniversary. After the electricity goes haywire, a shadow figure emerges. The next time we see this man, he is sitting on a chair in his home, and when his wife goes to touch him, his body disintegrates as if burned into ash. What was great about this was how well the effects were done. The shadow’s victims actually kept their body structure perfectly, and only when they were touched would their bodies break up into ash.

As mentioned before, this is Broyles’ episode, so when fringe division is called in, he remembers this M.O. from years before. After digging up the old case information, we find out that the only way to stop this guy from killing again is to figure out a complex formula that the FBI hadn’t been able to years before. Thankfully, they have Walter now.

It was a bit strange for Olivia and Peter to be in so few scenes this week, but if they really want to expand the cast, this was a good way of doing so. Everyone has their favorite side characters in a show who never seem to get the back story the fans want. There are still plenty of unanswered questions about Broyles’ past and connections with Nina Sharp from Massive Dynamic.

As far as standalone episodes go, this was one of the better ones this season. As the complaint has been before, the show is truly wonderful when focused on the overlying plot of parallel universes and imminent, cross-worlds war, but merely good otherwise. At least this episode gives us some information on an underused character.

About Evan Scarola 4 Articles
As an avid doer of nothing, I have dedicated my entire life to knowing every line of Seinfeld as well as most from The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park and Scrubs. I’m not ashamed to admit I was teary eyed during the Scrubs finale, and bawled uncontrollably the first time I saw the Futurama episode “Jurassic Bark.” When not watching obscene amounts of television, and by obscene I mean watching the entire first season of Battlestar Galactica in one day, I’m listening to an ungodly amount music. Classic rock and classic/alternative/underground hip-hop are my genres of choice. I can go from listening to “Stairway To Heaven” from the, well if you don’t know who that’s from that’s your problem, to Big L’s “Devil’s Son” back to “I Am The Walrus.” I also absolutely love movies and video games. The Godfather Parts I and II and Lord of the Rings (a trilogy I have watched in one day) are my favorite movies, while GTA San Andreas, God of War, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Metal Gear Solid 4 are my favorite games. Besides entertainment, I am completely in love with sports. I love both the Jets and Giants, though I lean more towards the Jets, and I unequivocally bleed the Mets’ Blue & Orange. David Wright, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran are my Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and Citi Field is my Vatican. I must say, I look forward to forcing my thoughts and opinions upon you. Don’t worry though, they will soon become your own. And yes, I do have a tendency to overwrite.

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